1866 Hinkley Knitting Machine Company, Bath Maine

Patented May 29, 1866


Number of needles: 1 (one)

This machine is not necessarily a sock knitter, but it is hand cranked and very interesting.

OPERATION: During operation, the fabric hangs from the fingers on the comb, and a needle inserts the loops of yarn in a sewing machine fashion. The needle moves horizontally, and the comb and fabric move from side to side. This machine can be adjusted for fabric width by changing the locations of the stops on the comb.

The patent claims that this machine can cast-on by itself, and surprisingly, it really does! If you start from the left end of the comb, the needle and hook place an e-wrapped loop on each comb tooth. If you start from the other end, it does not work. Because the machine wraps one way and not the other, the fabric has a unique "X" pattern on alternating rows, and a crosswise semi-ribbed pattern on the back..

Knitted Fabric, Front view

Knitted fabric, Back view

The needle came twisted, bent and rusty.
It had to be replaced.

Another view of the Hinkley knitter.

This machine was restored by Ralph Kanko for its owner, Bill Carter.

Copyright, R. Kanko, 1998

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